Part 35: Organizational Fit – How Small & Mid Sized Companies Grow

Everyone has their own style of doing things and what may work for one company, may not fit your operations as the environment that you are working in may not be conducive to your operation.

For example, a person might have been a successful manager in a larger organization where he or she had many people providing them resources, perhaps with a substantial support budget. In smaller companies additional staffers are often not available and the person that you hire may not be able to function as you anticipated without these resources. They can only produce with a team but not on their own.

Someone given the title of Manager may likely believe that they will have people to assign work to do to get the job done within a specific time frame and expected deliverables. They typically took personal credit for the work of the team they headed, but clearly they could not have been able to produce this work on their own. It is common to take credit for the results of others as a department manager.

These Managers who move to a smaller company may be in for a rude awakening, unless the full details of the job and its nature was fully explained to them at the onset of taking a new job; namely that they are essentially “the team” and they need to deliver these results on their own without the help of others. There is therefore little chance that the same results could be obtained in a smaller company under these conditions; take away the assistants, resources, researchers, technicians, funding and the like and ones ability to deliver will likely disappear, unless this Manager has trained his prior staff and infused all of the knowledge that these people had, and even in that there are not enough hours in the day for the Manager to perform all these jobs on his own.

This situation comes about too often as one doesn’t dig too deeply into a new manager’s background. And his hubris allows them to believe that they can be effective anywhere, and irrelevant of the operating environment. The company only sees a solid manager working for a leading company in the field that they are lucky to get and assumes that he or she can replicate what was created elsewhere and leapfrog the competition. The manager is wooed and given an assurance that he or she can do the same here with a promise tied to the future as the company. Such things as formal budget, action plan, risks and threats are not factored in to business plan instead of “just let me do it” often prevails with disastrous results. I have seen such situations with regularity; good money is invested and without a well thought out game plan resulting in failure after many months of moving in the wrong direction, costing lots of money and termination of employees.
We have only death with one element of “organizational fit” and there are many more. But clearly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole doesn’t work.

We welcome your questions as to the challenges you face in order to grow.

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